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GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS New England’s Largest Italian-American Newspaper Email: • Website:


(ISSN 0038-1446)

OSIA Comunita Update


by David Covucci

by Dorothy Berlandi

Standing, L to R: Stephen DeAngelis, Lucinda Nolet, Ron Hill, Carol Rossi, Catherine Bourassa, John Christoforo, Florence Ferullo Kane, John Argiro, Theresa Farina, Stephen Cozzaglio, Marie Jackson, and Fr. Gregory Mercurio. Seated, L to R: Denise Furnari, Antonio Sestito, State First Lady Kathy DiStefano, State President James DiStefano, Carmelita Bello, and Margaret Campbell. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts held its annual Purple Aster Ball on Saturday evening, November 12, 2011 at Spinelli’s Function Facility, Route 1 South, Lynnfield, Massachusetts. This special evening brought together the Order Sons of Italy Family. Co-Chairs of this event were State Trustee Margaret Campbell and State Trustee Denise Furnari. The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by Executive Director Paul Guida introducing State President James DiStefano and First Lady Kathy DiStefano. State President James DiStefano welcomed all and thanked the Co-Chairs State Trustees Margaret Campbell and Denise Furnari for a job well done. State Chaplain Gregory Mercurio gave the invocation and it was time for dinner to be served.


Although the attendance was small it did not diminish the fact that a fabulous time was had by all. Mr. James Geany and his orchestra Equinox provided the entertainment. It was an evening which had all participants on their feet dancing. And, as you enjoy the photos of this Purple Aster Ball you will note a very interesting “Conga” line. It seems everyone joined in! The Co-Chairs Sisters Margaret Campbell and Denise Furnari are to be congratulated for organizing and presenting a fun-filled evening with music, dancing, food, and most of all friendship. Again, I repeat “A picture is worth a thousand words ...” Following are the many photos taken by Grand Lodge Photographer Dom Campochiaro. Enjoy! (View more photos on Pages 4 & 5)

North End Nursing Home Party by Dorothy Berlandi

In a recent issue of The Sons of Italy News, State President James DiStefano introduced the Grand Lodge’s newest initiative: OSIA Comunita. This project is being formed as a sister organization of the Grand Lodge with the goal of finding ways for Italian Americans to help each other. This is an ambitious undertaking that will introduce new ways for us to interact with each other, and will help us attract new members - especially a younger generation of Italian Americans. In order to test this new organization and make improvements before we introduce it to all lodges, we are implementing a test run in the two lodges in Watertown. The first step of this test project occurred on November 2, 2011 when State Officers as well as officers and members of the Watertown lodges attended a brainstorming session to figure out how to implement OSIA Comunita. Representing the State Council were State Trustee Stephen DeAngelis, State Second Vice President Antonio Sestito, State Recording Secretary Ron Hill, and State President James DiStefano. Piave Fiume Lodge #1036 President Tony Mastantuono and Cornelia dei Gracchi Lodge #1583 President Gerry Cimino represented their respective lodges. Also in attendance were Francesco DeSanctis Lodge #1411 President Chris Piccioli, and Watertown lodge members Mel Martocchia, Lou DiMuzio, Irene Santoro, and Teresa Iodice, who were the key audience members who we were hoping to gain feedback from on how to implement our ideas in Watertown. The two-hour brainstorming session covered a number of topics. After an introduction by State President DiStefano, the Lodge members engaged in a lively discussion of the OSIA Comunita mission, technology support, legal and financial issues, and timelines. Thanks to the insights of Teresa Iodice the group finally converged on the need to describe the mission to all Lodge members, and to survey their ideas on what they would like to see OSIA Comunita accomplish, and how it should be accomplished. Mel Martocchia and Lou DiMuzio volunteered to oversee an effort to survey Watertown Lodge members and to report the results back to the larger group as soon as possible. Mel, Lou, and I plan to meet sometime during the upcoming weeks to agree on the survey format and the methods for collecting the information. Many of you reading this article will hear from us within the next month or two, asking for your ideas about OSIA Comunita. We look forward to hearing from all of you. We would like to thank Joe Marchio of the Watertown Lodge for providing an excellent post-meeting collation.

Don Orione Nursing Home Epiphany Party by Dorothy Berlandi

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, Charity Commission Chairman Marylou Abbatessa and her committee visited the North End Nursing Home for their annual Holiday Party. The Charity Commission plans these holiday parties for the benefit of the many residents in the North End Nursing Home. Santa Claus puts in an appearance and gifts are presented to each of the residents along with an assortment of homemade Italian cookies,

biscotti, and punch. Brother Robert Oliverio portrays Santa Claus stopping around the room to chat with each of the residents. Brother Oliverio is the Vice President of the Belmont Mixed Lodge. We had many young visitors at this party, including Liliana Battista who sang along with her father Franco Battista and enjoyed the party. Also attending was Valerie DiStefano, granddaughter of State President James DiStefano and First

Lady Kathy DiStefano. Another young attendee was Adriana McDevitt, granddaughter of Public Relations Chairman Dorothy Berlandi. The individuals at these facilities are always eager to see visitors, even from the younger generation and they look forward to these holiday visits. Danny Ventola and his accompanist serenaded the group with many old favorites, and it (Continued on Page 8)

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January - February 2012  

Featuring the Purple Aster, and North End and Don Orione Nursing Home Christmas Parties.

January - February 2012  

Featuring the Purple Aster, and North End and Don Orione Nursing Home Christmas Parties.